Dar es Salaam governor Paul Makonda has announced the formation of a surveillance squad to hunt down gay people in the capital.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, the Makonda said round-ups will begin as early as next week. The team will look at social media content in order to track down same-sex couples and arrest them, as the government intensifies its campaign against homosexuality.

Tanzania forms anti-gay squad

Homosexual acts are illegal in Tanzania and President John Magufuli has increasingly targeted same-sex couples since coming into power in 2015. Many gay, lesbian and transgender people are forced to hide their sexuality in Tanzania and dozens of people have been arrested for homosexuality in 2018.

Addressing international condemnation over a lack of gay rights in Tanzania, Governor Makonda said he would rather anger foreign countries than anger God.

He said the 17-member surveillance team will comprise of state officials from the Tanzania Communications Authority, the police and media practitioners. He also warned people to delete any naked photos or pornography on their phones, promising string measures against anyone caught with pornographic material.